Last Shot of Johnny Walker (What Pegman Saw)

Last Shot of Johnny Walker (fiction word count: 150) 

While in Australia, at the Billinudgel Bar, I realized my motive for traveling.

I was peak jumping.

Living for the highs.

If I did not have a trip on the queue, I didn’t know what to do.

Six-month chunks of time kept my emotions in line…

Hard workdays, long weeks, stressful sweeps…

All anchored by the next trip waiting.

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This coping pattern emerged while sitting at the bar.

I looked around and saw a yogi in a pretzel knot – able to just “be.”

I eavesdropped a wedding party, downing brews, contented with little.

The owner, also the bartender, seemed so fulfilled to own this dive of a hotel.

With that last shot of Johnny Walker, the emptiness I was escaping surfaced.

Traveling can be used to enrich or to escape.

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Now, staycations have honed me – life’s valleys and side terrains offer much – enjoyment is not just from peaks.

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This short fiction was created to join in with the writers at What Pegman Saw. Go HERE to join in and/or read more entries.  This week, Pegman is in Billinudgel, New South Wales, Australia. Here is the streetview and photospheres.

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Author Notes:

Today’s piece was inspired by someone we knew in the 1990s who had a habit of peak jumping to cope with unsettledness in life. Nothing is wrong with traveling for enrichment – and hobbies provide refreshment too – but sometimes we need to make sure we are not overlooking a pattern of escaping – because if so – we only delay finding contentment that helps us anchor inner stuff.  I know it is easier said than done – and this fiction piece might hopefully hint at the journey involved. Individual wellness does not follow any formula and maybe we grind out what we need over the years.

This short piece was also inspired by a few of the other entries from this week’s submissions. K. Rawson has done this a few times – incorporated other writers’ pieces into her Pegman entry – and so I borrowed her approach – well a little differently.

In my story, the yogi person was from Wickland’s The Other Guy (here) and Dale’s Mistaken Identity (here) and LisaRey’s Beer with the Boys (here).

I had my character in the bar with the characters from the aforementioned three stories. (I tried to connect other Pegman entries this week but it was feeling forced.)

So…. the ironic part is that my character – the one who travels to escape and realizes this coping pattern with that last shot of Johnny Walker.… well they see a yogi and “assume” he was contented – and just meditating – but Wickland has the yogi in a knot because he hit on an athletic spy who was having none of that. My character also eavesdrops a bit on Lisa Rey’s wedding party – but my character missed the angst there – and once again assumed happiness. Further, the bartender is seen as “living the life” (by my character) while Dale had this character as a possible fugitive.

Ahhhh…. how often we humans look at others and assume they “have it so good.” Well sometimes folks are flaw-finders and they look out with knit-picking and operate from brokenness and insecurity. But time and again, I see folks who look outward and make assumptions about how others have it so well. It is not always the case.

Everyone has stuff they are working on. Don’t they?

So in my story, I wanted to highlight the journey of self-awareness about coping patterns – and  then note how sometimes people might assume everyone is living it up with bliss. When this is not always true.

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And lastly, maybe this post was inspired by this vintage Johnny Walker cork screw I saw while visiting my sweet step-daughter:

I liked this sign too:

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40 thoughts on “Last Shot of Johnny Walker (What Pegman Saw)

  1. Great post. People have different coping mechanisms. Some do it laughing out loud, some over a cup of pike roast or a pound of strawberry cheesecake. Next time I see a happy person he might well be finding a way to be happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. your comment reminded me of a lady we knew when we first moved to VA.
      She was so over the top nice – a little annoying even.
      Later – when she announced she was divorcing her spouse and was having an affair – her anger surfaced – and a few years later – we ran into her and she was not that “robotic and overly nice cheery gal” – she was just more relaxed. So maybe in survival mode we need that front to carry us – and yuck – truly a tough phase to endure – eh?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story! Made even better by the background notes. Did you have a look around the whole hotel via google maps? Eerily spooky! There must be lots more stories here. Why was the door barred? Why was the kitchen closed? I loved the menu boards. Where was everyone?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks and I did get the idea from two of your posts – like the recent vacation one…
      and I did not set out to do this – but as i wrote about my person – the other folks at the bar were fresh in my mind – and that song “I love this bar” by Toby keith – lol

      Like

  3. Very nice story and it had me assumed sitting as the person himself. I wouldn’t take that last shot of Johnny Walker though 🙂 I would simply ponder about what were going on around me – the sight of a yogi’s body in a knot, sounds o the wedding party etc. and reflecting back to my own…

    The author notes are so good too. They gave the insight into your story.. So cool. I have to agree with you.

    “Everyone has stuff they are working on.” .. Yes, I agree.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love how you incorporated some of our characters. Pretty darn good, there, Yvette!
    I would like to jump out of my present life sometimes… sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dale, well I have to give credit to K and how she has done this a couple of times.
      And I tried to do a few more of the Pegman entries- but it was feeling forced – and three was more than enough.
      Plus it really was easy because the three of you had your MC at the bar – so…
      “this guy walked into a bar in Australia and…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What an excellent and wise story. I loved the notes too. Every good story has a back story, and it was very interesting to read yours. And your words about not assuming that everything is perfect for those around us is such good advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I know a few people like this, always needing the next big thing to look forward to or continually running from own failed relationship/job to the next without a backward glance. There’s a big pit of emptiness in such people and they’re looking for ways to fill it. Wonderfully well observed, Priorhouse

    Liked by 1 person

  7. When I saw Billinudgel I went what!!! That’s just up the road from my besties place. It is a very small town & a bit rough ‘n’tumble in its day. Been a pub for over 100 years. Not been there for ever it seems. Will have to go and have a beer for you Yvette 🍻😀

    Like

    1. well that made my day and you have to take a picture if/when you do…
      how cool is this – small world indeed – and cannot believe it is near you –
      not fair that pegman is so close to you –
      one day perhaps I can be there

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah… finding the strength, patience and discipline to just “be”… not at all as easy as it might seem 😉 . I enjoyed the way in which you managed to exploit the different levels of the “journey”.

    Like

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